What is the new government regulation in Canada for window coverings?
- The Corded Window Covering Regulations (CWCR): SOR/2019-97 were released in April of 2019 and are intended to substantially change the rules regarding cords and small parts on corded window coverings. The regulations establish rules that restrict the length of reachable cords and the size of loops that can be created effective May 1, 2022. This rule applies to indoor window coverings with at least one cord including inner cords, rear cords, and power cords.
The following definitions apply in these regulations:
Cord means any of the following:
- A band, rope, strap, string, chain, wire or any other component that, when any tension is removed is capable of folding in every direction; or
- Any combination of components that are connected end to end that, when any tension is removed, is capable of folding in every direction
- Corded window covering means an indoor window covering that is equipped with at least one cord
- Loop means a shape, the majority of which is formed by a reachable cord, that creates a completely bounded opening.
- Reachable with respect to a cord, refers to the part of the cord that any person can touch when the corded window covering has been installed, whether the window covering is fully opened, fully closed or in any position in between.
- Cord means any of the following:
When did this go into effect?
- The regulations went into effect May 1, 2021; enforcement begins May 1, 2022.
What is the impact of the new regulations?
- The impact of CWCR is that all products that do not meet the CWCR standard cannot be shipped or sold after April 30th, 2022. This will impact both residential and commercial channels and customers.
What changes were made?
- The CWCR severely limits the length and pull force of any cord on a product. Essentially, any free hanging cord or tethered cord cannot be longer than 22cm. Any cord that is longer, such as inner cords, cannot product a loop larger than 44cm when a specific pull force is applies. In the past, these kinds of rules were only intended for operating cords. The CWCR recognizes any cord on a product as a corded window covering. This includes inner cords, rear cords, looped products, and even power cords.
Does the government regulation apply to more than just blinds?
- Yes. The new government regulation is a law that covers all corded window coverings, including corded custom drapery and other corded fabric window treatments. Consider any corded treatments that are applied to the window area to be included in this regulation. This includes motorized products, due to the electrical cords.
What products will be impacted by the new standard?
- Roller Shades, Dual Shades, Cellular Shades, Window Shadings, Horizontal Blinds.
Is there a solution for horizontal blinds?
- Yes, there will be tilt-only blinds available.
Is there a solution for cord looped systems?
- Yes, there will be a shrouded continuous loop lift option available
Are motorized products compliant?
- Motor solutions will require updated installation; additional steps are required for securing power cords to prevent free hanging cord lengths greater than 22cm in length.
Question from Customer: “I have young children and safety is a big
concern for me. What products should I consider?”
- All products sold by Gotcha Covered are designed with safety in mind, and provide standard or optional safety features. Consider cordless window treatments, motorized window treatments, or shutters.
What else is changing?
- There is a new safety warning standard.
The CWCR (SOR/2019-97) describes additional specifics on requirements for:
- Small parts
- Lead content
- Unreachable cords
- Reachable cords with one free end- length
- Loop created by a reachable cord- perimeter
- Two reachable cords
- Information and advertising
What is the new safety warning standard?
- Information that appears on a corded window covering, that accompanies one or that is in any advertisement must appear in both English & French.
- Must be legible and prominently and clearly displayed and, in particular, the characters must be in a color that contrasts sharply with the background
- Remain legible and visible throughout the useful life of the corded window covering under normal conditions of transportation, storage, sale and use
- Must be indelibly printed on the corded window covering itself or on a label that is permanently affixed to it.
What about remakes & repairs?
- Repairs can continue to be done as they currently are. This is a manufacturing standard and products are allowed to be repaired to the standard that was in place when they were made. For remakes after May 1st 2022, the remake will be made compliant to the new regulation. We understand this may cause a product to look or operate differently than others in the home, so we stress to repair the shade if possible.
How does this affect the warranty?
- Warranty coverage does not change.
How important is the new government regulation?
- This new government regulation is the law, not just a standard to follow as before. This law could carry criminal consequences in Canada should it not be followed. We anticipate strong CWCR enforcement.
For additional information, see the Health Canada website: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/consumer-product-safety/legislation-guidelines/acts-regulations/canada-consumer-product-safety-act/frequently-asked-questions.html#a1